As Apple embarks on a new journey with the Watch Ultra, reigning Garmin isn’t letting its crown go so easily
Apple introduced a new smartwatch designed for outdoor fitness enthusiasts, athletes and workaholics. It’s called the Apple Watch Ultra. The most expensive watch from the Apple stable has a 49mm titanium case and claims to be the brightest Apple watch ever made. Just to clarify, the Apple Watch Ultra costs ₹89,900 in India.
Similar to the Apple Watch Ultra, we have Garmin making serious and accurate smartwatches. Garmin has a wide portfolio of smartwatches starting at around ₹15,000 and going over ₹1,00,000 from an Indian perspective. Now, the price of the Apple Watch Ultra pits it against the Garmin Epix 2 smartwatch, which has similar features and targets a similar group of buyers.
In addition to touch functionality, the Apple Watch Ultra has a customizable action button that provides instant access to features such as workouts, compass waypoints, backtracking, and more.
The Watch Ultra claims 36 hours of use under normal conditions. It has a new low power function that can extend the usage time up to 60 hours. However, the life cycle of GPS can only be determined after inspecting the device. Apple Watch Ultra uses dual frequency GPS and integrates both L1 and the latest L5 frequency.
Apple Watch Ultra is also powered by watchOS 9, which includes new running metrics to measure performance, such as stride length, ground contact time, vertical oscillation, and running power. The Apple Watch Ultra can display six metrics at once.
The Watch Ultra claims to withstand temperatures down to -4°F (-20°C) and as hot as 131°F (55°C). Apple Watch Ultra also includes all the connectivity, activity, and health features like heart rate and EKG and blood oxygen monitoring, along with other health, safety, and navigation features.
Similarly, the Garmin Epix 2 has a 47mm AMOLED display compared to the Watch Ultra’s 49mm face. Unlike the Watch Ultra, the Garmin Epix 2 has both a touch function and five physical buttons. The Epix 2 screen uses the same sapphire glass as the Apple Watch Ultra. This makes both watches scratch resistant. The difference is that Garmin opts for a circular dial, while Apple uses a half-round rectangular style.
The Garmin Epix 2 has a resolution of 416 x 416, while the Apple Watch Ultra has a resolution of 410 x 502. In this case, the Watch Ultra is more vivid than the Garmin Epix 2.
The battery life of the Garmin Epix 2 is up to 16 days in smartwatch mode, 42 hours in GPS mode, and lasts 21 days if the power manager is activated. Even the numbers suggest that the Apple Watch Ultra can’t match the Garmin Epix 2 in terms of battery performance.
The Garmin Epix 2 uses multi-band GPS with greater accuracy and precision, while the Apple Watch Ultra gets a similar feature – with a level of accuracy yet to be calculated in real-world scenarios.
Both watches have blood oxygen level sensors. Apple has now added a temperature sensor that Garmin already had. The Apple Watch Ultra, meanwhile, can also tell you the temperature of the water. When it comes to heart rate monitoring, Apple has a built-in ECG feature, while Garmin offers alerts for various heart activities. There are other features like compass, altimeter, accelerometer, tracking, music, SOS etc. which are common to both the smartwatches.
Despite the aforementioned features, Garmin remains the dominant player in the smartwatch category, while Apple has just become more adventurous and sporty. The Garmin Epix 2 starts at around ₹89,990.